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Frequently Asked Questions for Students Abroad

Jump to answers to the most common questions from students abroad, organized by topic:

Taking courses abroad

1. Can I register for fewer than the recommended number of courses if I don’t need the credits?

All Northwestern students abroad are required to register for a full course load, whether or not they need all the credits. Check the credit enrollment requirements

2. If I do not complete all of the coursework for a class, can I receive partial credit?

To receive credit for a course taken abroad, Northwestern students are required to complete all coursework, including any final assessments (exams, papers, projects, etc.) in their host country. As a rule, students will not receive partial credit for courses in which they did not complete all coursework and final assessments.

3. Can I take any classes Pass/No Pass while abroad?

No, you must take all classes for an official grade and earn the equivalent of a C or above in order to transfer the credit back to NU. You may take P/N classes in addition to your regular course load but the P/N classes will not transfer back to Northwestern.

4. What is the lowest grade Northwestern will accept for transfer credit from my study abroad program?

You must earn a C or above in order to be eligible for transfer credit.

5. Are there any program-specific NU requirements that I need to follow while abroad?

Some programs do have specific requirements. To find out if yours does, go to your program's web page in the Programs section of this website.

Extending study abroad

1. Can I extend my term abroad?

Northwestern encourages students to study abroad for the full year, and if you would like to extend your stay, you may be able to do so. Review the steps necessary to extend your stay.

Planning for your return

1. How do I register for classes at Northwestern?

You will register online through CAESAR, just as you would at Northwestern. Your enrollment appointment time appears on CAESAR in Central Standard Time. Pre-registration is performed in some departments a week prior to normal registration to allow majors and minors special access to course selection. See the Registering for Courses at Northwestern web page for additional information.

2. Where should I have my study abroad transcript sent?

It should be sent to:

  • The Northwestern Study Abroad Office
    629 Colfax Street
    Evanston, IL 60208

3. How do I apply for on-campus housing from abroad?

Students studying abroad in the fall will participate in the housing process while they are away during fall quarter, via email, for a housing assignment that starts in winter quarter. Students studying abroad in the winter/spring will apply for a Housing Priority Number via email in February.  See Find Housing After Study Abroad for more information.